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Only Hyundai Department Store applies for license for duty free shop in Seoul

All Headlines 20:28 November 14, 2019

SEJONG/SEOUL, Nov. 14 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Department Store submitted the only application for a license to operate a duty free shop in downtown Seoul on Thursday, the customs agency said.

The government closed bidding for a new license to run five duty free shops -- three in Seoul; one in Incheon, west of Seoul; and the other in the southwestern city of Gwangju, according to the Korea Customs Service.

Only Hyundai Department Store applied for a duty free outlet in Seoul. There were no applicants for licenses in Incheon and Gwangju.

Hyundai Department Store opened a duty free shop at its Trade Center branch in the affluent Gangnam district in 2018. It is seeking to open a new one at Doosan Tower in Dongdaemun, eastern Seoul, as Doosan Corp. has decided to shut down its duty free business there.

Earlier this month, Hyundai clinched a five-year deal to rent the duty free shop site from Doosan for 10 billion won (US$8.5 million) per year.

The duty free shop business is suffering an industry-wide slump, mainly because the number of Chinese tourists sharply fell amid a diplomatic row with Beijing over the installment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

In 2015, seven companies, including retail giants HDC Shilla Duty Free and Hanwha Galleria Timeworld, vied for four licenses to open duty free shops in Seoul and the southern port city of Busan.

But this year alone, Hanwha Group and Doosan Group decided to pull out of its duty-free business amid growing losses and heated competition.

This file photo shows a duty free shop in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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